Commercial trucks are heavier and larger than the average personal vehicle. Therefore, if an accident occurs between the two, the consequences can be devastating. The average loaded commercial truck can weigh more than 25 times that of the average car. Collision between the two has caused many fatal accidents on the roads and interstates in New Jersey and elsewhere.
If you or a loved one has experienced an accident with a commercial truck, you should contact a Cumberland County truck accident lawyer, who is well-versed in truck accident laws and regulations. A qualified injury attorney can help you recover compensation for your injuries.
Laws and Regulations Regarding the Trucking Industry
Not only should commercial truck drivers follow the basic traffic laws affecting all motorists on the road, but in addition, they must follow special regulations and laws of the trucking industry called the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSRs).
A Cumberland County truck accident lawyer is well-versed in these regulations and knows if a truck driver or trucking company breaks them, the truck driver or company is liable in the event of an accident with motorists. Some of the rules and regulations of the trucking industry as outlined in the FMCSRs involve:
- Licensing requirements for commercial drivers
- Hours of service (limits on consecutive work hours by hours)
- Limitations on weight, size, and routes
- Adequate trucking insurance coverage
- Quality control of trucks (proper manufacturing and repair)
- Hazardous waste guidelines
Common Types of Truck Accidents
A jackknifing accident is a common type of truck accident that happens when the trailer swings around in a manner that the tractor and trailer rest at a 90-degree angle. Jackknifing may cause severe damage to objects or vehicles in its direction. Many times, a truck may roll over during the incident. Causes of jackknifing may include traveling too fast around a curve, vehicle equipment failure (wheel, clutch, brakes, and improper steering wheel maneuvers.
Wide turn accidents are another common type of truck accident created by tractor trailers making wide turns into adjoining lanes in traffic. To maneuver a turn, truck drivers need to swing wide into other lanes. The driver may not see a car in the next lane and cause the truck to hit the unseen vehicle. These accidents are often caused by truck driver error, which may include distracted driving, failure to examine blind spots, failure to use turn signals, and inexperience or poor training.
Winning a Lawsuit Against a Truck Driver or Trucking Company
When injuries occur during a collision involving a commercial truck, a person may be compensated for the lost wages and income, medical expenses, rehabilitations costs, pain and suffering (physical and mental), loss of earning capacity, and loss of companionship.
To win a truck accident case, one needs to prove that the truck driver or their employer is responsible for the incident and injuries of the injured party. Proving this can be accomplished by showing the following:
- The driver was not fit to be driving a commercial vehicle
- The company did not properly train the individual to drive the vehicle
- The driver or company was negligent
- The driver broke traffic laws of the highway
- The driver had previous traffic violations and convictions on his record
- The company did not follow regulations and laws of the trucking industry
- The company is responsible for any accidents involving their employees while performing their daily duties
- The driver or company did not exercise a reasonable degree of care to keep the accident from happening
Contact a Cumberland County Truck Accident Attorney
Operating a commercial truck requires proper training and experience to maintain safety on the highway. Commercial truck companies need to ensure their truck drivers are adequately prepared to do the job.
If you are involved in a truck accident, the incident can impact all aspects of life. You should contact a Cumberland County truck accident lawyer, who can help you get the compensation and justice you want and deserve.